March 6th, 2011

Hello all! Crazy times as usual at LML. I am waiting for the computer to be done with a task, so thought I would add a quick post.

Grace W3-4
Grace W3-4
Ellie W3-4
Ellie W3-4

First Grace and Ellie are doing fantastic and are a month old already! They are spending a lot of time out of the whelping box and love to explore and nap in the puppy bed, which Shay also loves. They are chewing everything and now have a mouthful of razor sharp puppy teeth. They love people and are settling in to our very noisy household. They like their puppy mash and have even tried to crunch on some dry pieces and do quite well. The gals are darlings and we enjoy naps with them and lots of play. Both seem quite bright, agile, and use their noses very successfully.

Next, Santana has exploded in growth over the past few days and is most certainly, without a doubt, pregnant. (photo coming soon)

Snowy Day
Snowy Day

Let’s see, next we received a few inches of snow today! Love it, except #2 son’s sweetie pie had a minor accident on her way home from work because of it. On our way to rescue her, we witnessed another, much worse accident with one vehicle over the guard rail. The rescue squads were very busy today and the dogs have been busy keeping up with their practice of howling along with the sirens, much to the amusement of the neighborhood! It is not very amusing, however, to Scott who was trying to sleep. He goes back on a crazy 8pm-5am shift starting tonight. Ugh! So much for me working much now and I just started a new site project and wanted to be further along. I love new site projects!

Oh, in other news, my darling Maddie is in heat. Yahoo!  She will be bred to Steele, who is a perfect match for her in many ways. Both are drop-dead classy and stylish. Curly top knots (though Steele’s is not as pronounced). Ties back to the Blizzard lines. Similar styles, coat-types. Both are brilliantly intelligent. Both LOVE water. Excellent noses and bird smarts. Honest retrievers. Biddable, but bold, and loyal. Very nice.  If all goes as planned, Maddie will have her litter mid-May.

I will be entertaining myself keeping up with all the news from the Iditarod trail, as “The Last Great Race on Earth” just officially started. Sixty-two mushers and their amazing dog sled teams of 12-16 dogs set out on the 1,100 mile race through Alaskan wilderness to Nome, taking 10–17 days. I just had to have an “Insider” account and now can watch the live interactive GPS tracker showing all of the team locations. How exciting is that? Well, if you are me, it is very exciting!

Iditarod GPS Tracker
Iditarod GPS Tracker

I made Scott crazy yesterday because he just made me go have a foot x-ray because I dropped something on it.  But really it just looks worse than it is. Yeah, it hurts, but really only when one of the dogs steps on it.  Scott was convinced I had smashed some bones. So, breaking my ten-year record of not having to go to a doctor (really, and they confirmed that at the hospital), he literally dragged me there and  is making me sit there for 3 hours at the ER on a Saturday in March to get an x-ray, so in return for his kindness, I was making him crazy because I was crazy mad; first, I could not elevate the throbbing very painful foot, I was missing precious hours on the clock at work, and most importantly, I was missing the ceremonial start of the Iditarod! I, of course, couldn’t seem to get the live stream on my Blackberry in the hospital. I was sooo mad that I missed it! I had waited months for it and missed it! It was just the ceremonial media start–and not the official start–but boy was I mad. And, the x-ray says, of course, no broken bones… but, in Scott’s defense, even the x-ray tech and the doctor both said “Woah” when I unveiled the mutilation. It does look awful, but it will be just fine long before the ugliness is gone. So, we had our first “date” in a very, very long time and I thought it was a fairly inexpensive date, too–just $20 for the co-pay–although, we were starving and still hadn’t eaten at all and I had missed hours of work, so I suppose it wasn’t a cheap date after all.

So, back to the Iditarod, who am I rooting for to win? Well, I have no idea. They are all winners in my book. I can’t help but like Lance Mackey, 4-time in a row winner and a throat-cancer survivor. Can he make it 5 in a row? That really would be amazing, but what is really amazing is his story that is in today’s issue of Sport’s Illustrated. Read the article, “Cool Days On The Dog Farm.”  Then there is Hugh Neff, who lives in Alaska, but grew up in Tennessee. Seems like a super-nice guy and then Ed Stielstra of Michigan, Michelle Phillips, Redington Jr., Buser, Budington, Gatt… and so many great people–who can pick–unless you personally know someone?

Most of the Iditarod mushers are from Alaska, but there are also teams from Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and as mentioned, Tennessee and Michigan. There are also teams from Scotland, the Yukon Territories, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Norway. Could you imagine that trip with at least 16 dogs, sleds, food, and equipment? Wow, and I think I go through a lot traveling a meager 17 hours with 14 dogs? Nope, that is nothing at all in comparison. Check out all the musher profiles and stats on the Iditarod site. How can I not root for all of them? They are amazing to just make it to Anchorage with all of the training, preparations, sponsor searching, dog care, vet bills, and tests, equipment, wow… Amazing to just get what they need to enter, let alone making the 1,150 mile journey by dog sled!

I love going to the musher’s individual Web sites and reading all about the dogs. And if you think I have a lot of dogs, see how many they have! Lance Mackey has 120 dogs in his kennel. But, then again, he needs 16 at a time. A bird dogger doesn’t. And, I think some have sponsors to help feed the dogs. I know what I have to make every single day to feed my pack, and I can’t even imagine what their costs are. Did you know they send about 2,000 pounds of dog food (some kibble and the rest meat and fat) to be spread out along the checkpoints of the trail? Wow.  And, if I think I have a lot of barking, it is nothing in comparison to their kennels full! One thing we all have in common is the love of the dogs and love of snow and cold temperatures. I also love, love watching the interviews with the mushers and getting to see the dogs, the trailers and rigs, and all the dogs barking. I would fit right in and instead of having people mad at me, we would be welcome! And I wouldn’t be called crazy lady there, either!  🙂

So, follow along with 62 amazing mushers and their approximately 992 dogs making their way from a frozen lake in Willow to Nome here.

Okay, gotta go–the puppies need dinner, big dogs need out, Santana is hungry again, dishes need washed, laundry needs done, and I have to get back to work and sleep some because I am on the morning detail for all the dog chores before I have to log-in to “work-work” by 8:00 am. Okay, talk to you all soon. I promise to get photos of Grace and Ellie and Santana and her blooming belly soon!

LML